Accessory traits and phylogenetic background predict Escherichia coli extraintestinal virulence better than does ecological source

James R Johnson, Brian D Johnston, Stephen Porter, Paul Thuras, Maliha Aziz, Lance B. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background The distinguishing characteristics of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) strains are incompletely defined. Methods We characterized 292 diverse-source human Escherichia coli isolates (116 from fecal specimens, 79 from urine specimens [of which 39 were from patients with cystitis and 40 were from patients with pyelonephritis], and 97 from blood specimens) for phylogenetic group, sequence type complex (STc), and 49 putative extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC)-associated virulence genes. We then assessed these traits and ecological source as predictors of illness severity in a murine sepsis model. Results The study isolates exhibited a broad range of virulence in mice. Most of the studied bacterial characteristics corresponded significantly with experimental virulence, as did ecological source and established molecular definitions of ExPEC and uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC). Multivariable modeling identified the following bacterial traits as independent predictors of illness severity both overall and among the fecal and clinical (ie, urine and blood) isolates separately: fyuA (yersiniabactin receptor), kpsM K1 (K1 capsule), and kpsM II (group 2 capsules). Molecular UPEC status predicted virulence independently only among fecal isolates. Neither ecological source (ie, clinical vs fecal) nor molecular ExPEC status added predictive power to these traits, which accounted collectively for up to 49% of the observed variation in virulence. Conclusions Among human-source E. coli isolates, specific accessory traits and phylogenetic/clonal backgrounds predict experimental virulence in a murine sepsis model better than does ecological source.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume219
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Virulence
Escherichia coli
Uropathogenic Escherichia coli
Capsules
Sepsis
Urine
Cystitis
Pyelonephritis
Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli
Genes

Keywords

  • Escherichia coli
  • clinical isolates
  • fecal isolates
  • mouse models
  • phylogenetic groups
  • sepsis
  • sequence types
  • virulence
  • virulence factors

Cite this

Accessory traits and phylogenetic background predict Escherichia coli extraintestinal virulence better than does ecological source. / Johnson, James R; Johnston, Brian D; Porter, Stephen; Thuras, Paul; Aziz, Maliha; Price, Lance B.

In: Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 219, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 121-132.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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